ARK shows recessionary resilience raising more than £14m in one gala evening

ARK shows recessionary resilience raising more than £14m in one gala evening

News (International, UK)

The ninth annual Absolute Return for Kids (ARK) fundraising gala dinner earlier in May raised an impressive £14.1m in one evening, though down from a peak of £26.6m in 2007.

ARK’s Lesley Smith says its fundraising has remained resilient during the recession because “our donors are close to us and understand how ARK works and that it is effective.

“If you look at us across the eight years in which we've been fundraising we're still at the higher end of the graph - in fact we've exceeded our own expectations over the past three years.”

ARK, whose founding chairman is entrepreneur and philanthropist Arpad Busson, also announced the launch of two new aid programmes at the event.

In Zambia, a vaccination and treatment programme will be launched to combat diarrhoea which kills 14,000 children a year there. The programme will see 250,000 children vaccinated within three to five years.

In Zimbabwe, where maternal mortality has risen 500% in 20 years, a health programme will work to improve maternity and newborn care. The programme will help 45,000 mothers and their babies.

In contrast to the downward trend in major donations, the BBC Children in Need’s November 2009 appeal achieved a record total. Sir Terry Wogan announced live on Chris Evans's Radio 2 breakfast show this month that the appeal had raised £39m. On the night of the broadcast appeal, viewers donated £20.3m, with the balance of the money coming in subsequently.


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